“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.”
Words from Scottish-American author and environmental philosopher John Muir that ring true especially in today’s age of hyper-connectivity, of attachments and push notifications.
Hiking is one of the popular ways to detach from the bustling metropolis and rediscover the beauty and serenity of nature.
We disconnect to reconnect, right?
A new trail in Batangas, suitable for both amateur and seasoned hikers, offers a reinvigorating union with nature.
The Santelmo Eco-trail is Hamilo Coast in Nasugbu’s best-kept secret—until today.
Those who dare conquer the Santelmo Eco-trail can look forward to three viewpoints on the mountain, each showcasing a special and unique view.
A path is easily visible heading up the mountain and to the first viewpoint. A line of rope tied from tree to tree serves as a banister to hold on to when climbing steep paths up and down the trail, making the climb easier to navigate. The thick canopy of tree branches helps shade the path, keeping trekkers cool from the sun at any time of the day as they ascend the mountain.
The first viewpoint presents a picturesque view of Pico de Loro Cove. From here, trekkers can appreciate Hamilo Coast’s artistry of seamlessly weaving nature and modern living in this beach resort town. A bench lets one rest while taking in the view.
The second viewpoint is a bit more challenging. Located 114-meter above sea level, heading here raises the bar of difficulty for first-time trekkers. The steep trail also tests one’s agility. To make the climb a bit easier, locals and the Hamilo Coast team built sturdy makeshift stairs made of soil, wood, and rocks.
Tour guides provide interesting trivia on the various flora and fauna that thrive in the forest, including different possible food sources along the way. These trained tour guides assure trekkers a safe hike and they are equipped to assist anyone who might need help.
The reward for the climb is an astonishing view of Santelmo Cove’s quiet and pristine white sand beach, blending beautifully with the lush green all around.
Going deeper into the forest, trekkers are treated to brief encounters with wildlife. Indigenous birds fly over and break the silence with their chirping melodies. Forest fauna move swiftly and blend into the trees as if extending a shy welcome to the visitors. Occasionally, there are sightings of playful monkeys swinging from branch to branch, curious about the hikers yet cautious not to fully reveal themselves.
The third and last viewpoint takes trekkers to a whole new level with its 360-degree view of Hamilo Coast. From the northeast can be seen the Batangas terrain with its beautiful and lush protected forest, while to the west one will experience a scenic view of the horizon of the West Philippine Sea. On the southeast is a sight of Pico De Loro Cove’s deluxe development.
The adventure does not stop at the end of this trek.
Less than a kilometer from the third viewpoint, trekkers can further their experience of being one with nature by camping at Cabeza de Paloma.
A smaller cove within Pico de Loro Cove, Cabeza de Paloma is the perfect and safe site for campers who want to take in more of nature and experience the peaceful and clear night sky. Adventurers may unwind and disconnect from the noise while hanging around a bonfire enjoying barbecue cooked in a pit.
Hamilo Coast is SM Prime’s master-planned seaside residential community in Nasugbu, Batangas. It is approximately 90 minutes from Manila via Cavitex and the new Ternate-Nasugbu Road.
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